UPDATED 12:45 PM PT – Thursday, September 10, 2020
The Department of Justice recently announced it has charged 57 people for defrauding the Paycheck Protection Program. On Thursday, officials confirmed the suspects submitted false applications with the Small Business Administration.
They have called the number of fraudulent loans “significant.” Authorities stated the suspects stole taxpayer money to purchase luxury items, including yachts, houses and sports cars.
The government has so far recovered or frozen $30 million in stolen funds.
#NEW: DOJ announces charges against 57 people since May with trying to steal more than $175M from the Paycheck Protection Program — which is meant to help Americans during the COVID-19 pandemic. https://t.co/sONaHVedv8
— Jennifer Franco (@jennfranconews) September 10, 2020
“I can’t help but be disgusted,” said IRS official James Lee. “It seems there is no morality amongst criminals, like nothing is off limits for them.”
The Paycheck Protection Program made $670 billion available to small businesses through the $2.2 trillion CARES Act, which was passed by Congress earlier this year.